A glorious victory for the country

The PN’s attempt to instil a sense of fear and risk was driven by survey results

It is not the PN which lost the general election, but the country which won it. The country won it through the medium of the PL, but the PL has promised to govern the country as a broad-based movement.

The long campaign preferred by the Nationalist leader Gonzi has not worked the way he expected. The polls had long presaged a PL win, and they were vindicated. It may well be that a number of voters actually punished Gonzi for putting his party's interests before those of the country, which had to work without a budget for over two months.

Another clear fact that emerges from the result is that negative campaigning failed to work. Though one might understand that a party that just could not inflict a mortal blow to the PL campaign would resort to negative campaigning, indeed mudslinging, the electorate seems to have gone out of its way to reject it.

The dynamics of the campaign seem to have proven right the former PN leader Eddie Fenech Adami when, in an interview in the Times, he said that people are no longer interested in the past. Gonzi and his party strategists decided to ignore Fenech Adami's warning, and they put the emphasis on scaremongering. Their attempt to instil a sense of fear and risk was driven by polls showing that Joseph Muscat enjoyed a higher trust rating than Gonzi, but it failed in a spectacular way. The ultimate error was when they convinced the President Emeritus to break with tradition and endorse Gonzi in the final mass meeting of the campaign, which again backfired.

It will take many weeks for a proper analysis of the results to reveal what actually made the difference, but there is no doubt that a major issue was the proper governance of the country. Even if there were voters who were disposed well to the PN in terms of its economic management, there was a strong feeling that the PN had lost its way in giving the country an ethical and sound governance. The Enemalta scandal was perhaps the death-knell.

Another major issue was the widespread longing for major changes in the social and civil areas of society. The PL and its leader tapped early into this national consciousness and have driven this agenda for the last five years. The PN was a late and reluctant convert.  Gonzi's admission that he made a mistake when he voted against the introduction of divorce again backfired, as it showed that it wasn't a decision based on conscience.

The PL and its movement now take the reins of the country. The challenges are many and bracing, but the party's determination is equally strong and intense.

To serve

These are my first few days as a minister. I will try to remember every day that I have been appointed to serve, to try and solve problems not to create them or to hide them, to do all I can so that our children and young people succeed and to listen mostly to those who are often silent as they are voiceless. I thank all those who help me in my daunting task. Thank you. Let us set to work now.

Evarist Bartolo is minister for education

"but the PL has promised to govern the country as a broad-based movement." <> May I advise you to never lose sight of that objective! Because it was the unbiased, uncommitted, intelligent Maltese voter that elected you so overwhelmingly. I must admit to having full faith in the PL's New Movement, and would only wish for you to succeed, for the sake of Malta and its citizens. But, I will not hesitate one iota to criticise where it would be fairly due. Although, I do not believe or expect miracles, especially seeing the managerial disasters left behind by the outgoing administration, I do expect reasonable performance ASAP, with a far faster rate of achievement as time progresses.
Good luck with your new post and please keep your ears grounded to what the people have to say. Only because they are moaning and whining, it doesn't mean it is unjustified. Usually history repeat itself(1996-1998) PLEASE, prove history wrong.